Teach 2 Tech

Integrating Technology into the Classroom

How can we as teachers implement technology in our classroom to improve student engagement and achievement?

Setting and Participants:

  • 11th grade Sci-Fi/Fantasy Literature students
  • 11th grade Advanced Placement English student
  • About 95% of the AP juniors and about 45 % of the mainstream juniors reported that they plan to attend college.
  • English teachers of all grade levels and concentrations including mainstream, AP, Resource, Special Education, and ELD courses.
  • All individuals are part of a high school located in a low socioeconomic school district.

The challenges are the benefits.

1. What are the potentials and challenges of using technology effectively?

2. How does technology (specifically social media sites) create a 24-hour classroom and how does that affect student learning?

3. How can we as teacher leaders share resources to help teachers incorporate technology that enhances instruction and student learning?

· It is our goal to develop a climate in our own classrooms and professional teams that fosters the sharing of new ideas and technologies between teachers and students.

· By increasing the frequency and prevalence of the online instruction modes across all teachers, we feel that we would be able to combat the problem of low turn-in and completion rates of online assignments.

· We set about creating a teacher technology use website to hold a collection of resources that we discovered throughout our study from our own inquiry-based research and from collections of web resources that were shared with us by other teachers and students. www.teach2tech.weebly.com

· Whether or not technology is truly effective, it is the way of the future, and even if we have not yet found the full potential of its use, the progressive motion we have stirred within our department is both rewarding and inspiring.

· 24-hour Classroom incorporation takes time, creativity, and accommodations.

· Almost all of the obstacles encountered can be mitigated by giving the students extra time, and the 24-hour Classroom provides that time.

· Given the time, resources, and opportunities, students can engage in technology beyond the expectations of their instructors, and the learning that results because of it is profoundly powerful.

· We found that effective technology use is best achieved when students are completely engaged in the content and medium of instruction.

· Skills such as time management, networking, troubleshooting and computer literacy are integrated organically to the lessons adding high level cognitive exchanges between students and the content.

· Although the challenges can be frustrating, they are a valuable part of the learning experience. It is because of these challenges, and not in spite of them that technology-based projects and assignments are beneficial to students preparing for life in the digital age. Not only does troubleshooting engage students in higher level thinking, it also encourages group collaboration, teamwork, and cooperative learning.

The moral of our study is that with increased time, resources, and frequency of practice, students can learn effectively through the use of online instruction and creative online projects. All they need is time, flexibility, and access; they will bring the rest!